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November 21st 2015 print

Peter Smith

The Madness of a Raving Realist

It seems the world -- the Western part of it at least -- has been infected with a galloping derangement that insists on viewing events, motives and one particular creed not as they are but as so many would wish them to be. Get that straitjacket ready! I must be a suitable case for treatment

pin headVisiting an asylum for people who, to put it delicately, have intellectual deficits is a salutary experience. I entered a large open space where the inmates were gathering for communal recreation. It was hard to take it in at first, until my mind became more focussed. Let me give you a taste of this delusional world inside the asylum.

A tall, careworn chap was plaintively explaining to anyone who would listen that there was a rationale for the Charlie Hebdo murders. The pen is mightier than the sword, he said with a grimace, as though this cliche were decisive and proved his point beyond all doubt. It’s a setback is all, his buddy euphoniously intoned when told of the latest massacre in Paris. He broke into song and a soft-shoe shuffle. ♫ You say Islam and I say ISAL. You say Muslim and I say peaceful. Islam – ISAL, Muslim – peaceful, let’s call the whole thing off, I needs me a round of golf.♫. It was completely unnerving.

Another extremely bedraggled and dour (as a clue, jeremiad-like) man was saying that the police mustn’t be too ruthless with armed terrorists. “That’s not the way. That’s not the way,” he repeated endlessly, while his immediate companions appeared ready to strangle him. One lady who had seen much better days on the stage was ‘whooping’ (shall we say as a clue) that, after all, Hitler was a Christian. Christians are dangerous, very dangerous, she added pointedly and sombrely while staring vacantly into the air. “You could have fooled me,” replied a man in tall hat who said he was the Archbishop of Canterbury. “Appeasement is my very stock in trade.”

One very demonstrative elderly man (as a clue, Sandinista-like) was standing in front of a woman in a pants suit (no prizes for guessing correctly), who was vainly trying to push him aside. He waved his arms around wildly, imploring all around him to blame the weather for their ills. “If it wasn’t for the weather we’d be in clover! Clover, I tell you!”

I tried to gather my thoughts and breathe in some rationality but, all of a sudden, my arms were grasped by two burly guards, one on either side. “What you doing in ‘ere, mate?” one of them roughly demanded.

“What do you mean?” I protested. “Unhand me or I’ll call the constabulary.”

“You’ve been in the street where the sane people live. Now you’re in ‘ere and I’ve got a mind that this is where you belong!”

Panic gripped me.”Let me go! Let me go!” I shouted. “This is sheer madness!”

“Precisely,” the more erudite of the guards said. “We come across your types all the time. Raving realists we calls you.”

They let me go. I think it was their tea break and they didn’t want to spend time processing me.

I walked outside. A loudspeaker was blaring. A large crowd could be heard booing, and shouting Allahu Akbar, at a Turkish football stadium during a period of what was supposed to be a minute’s silence for those killed and injured in Paris. A voice-over repeatedly and insistently drowned the cries of the crowd. “Islam is the religion of peace. Muslims are moderate. The crowd is showing their displeasure with the terrorists. Black is white. Bad is good.”

I looked at a woman walking past me. We exchanged words.

“It is so confusing, isn’t it?” she said.

Yes, I said, only crazy people can make sense of it.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [6]

  1. Bill Martin says:

    We need some satire Peter, some humour to ease the grim reality. Thank you. Us raving realists can use something to lighten the crushing sense of hopelessness, the desperate realisation that our world is run by the inmates of the mental asylum.

  2. en passant says:

    Peter,
    What were you doing visiting Parliament?

  3. Bran Dee says:

    Seriously, madness abounds when the followers of Mohammed gain concessional treatment. Take triple taliq divorce that was recognised in India by the Muslim Personal Law [Shariat] Application Act 1937. According to this law Mohammedan men can divorce their wife by simply uttering the word ‘taliq’ thrice, and this is increasingly being done by digital media.

    The Hindu Nationalist organisation RSS, founded in 1925, wants to change this law to curb polygamy and bring the rapid growth rate in the Mohammedan population back in line with Hindus and Christians. Indian representatives of RSS were in the audience yesterday in Sydney at the launch of NSW Senate Candidate Kiralee Smith for the Australian Liberty Alliance.

    Is it mad to think all Smiths might be related? Kiralee Smith, and P Smith, and D Smith, and even Kingsford-Smith!

  4. DRW says:

    en passant withdraw your vile assertion against inmates of a mental asylum.

  5. Roy Edmunds says:

    I think we are crazy if we think we have got it right.

    Islam is a conflicted dogma, a political ideology, and fundamentally flawed if for no other
    reason than the treatment of women.

    But we are also so tainted now with the fascism we have adopted so blithely we think we have
    all the answers. We are blinded by our own arrogance and superiority.

    It is hard for us to realize we adopted fascism. The word is not used in the pejorative….fascism is corporatism…but along with Central Banking, Multi National Corporations working through or in conjunction
    with the World Bank, The IMF, the WTO, and the concept of free trade based on a money market and derivative
    casino gambling approach to business we have unbridled greed and corruption on a global scale….scams
    which have international consequences involving the death and suffering of millions of people.

    We are so far down this road now it is hard to see it ending well….

    Guess we have to fight it out….our record since WWII has not been that good…I sense that we are vulnerable
    right now because of debt…and Islam sees us with our backs to the wall…but usually money can be found
    for war…suddenly the truth about money comes out with war….money is created in abundance for war but
    it seems never for peace….pretty sick philosophy for Christians to embrace…but that is what we have done.